Finis

About a year ago I started with Fading Memories, both to experiment with Zope, and to provide some kind of track or trail of my readings.

I’ve kept a reasonably meticulous record for a year, and in that year I read about a hundred-fifty books, less than I thought, but still about three a week, seen maybe three movies, and done notes of most of them. I managed to royally piss off one person, mildly pique another and to gain top rank for searches for “Latin Lyrics” on Google.

I didn’t finish every book I started: I didn’t finish The Dragon Waiting, Byzantine Commonwealth, Max Havelaar (again!) and a few others.

I didn’t review every new comic I bought — the latest Ragebol, the very, very, very excellent Agent 327 albums, the pretty new Melisande and pleasant new Cupido, all read, but not reviewed. If I remember correctly — because I notice that after a year I start to mistrust my digital trail as much as I mistrust my memory.

I didn’t write a notice for Gaudy Night, nor for Thrones, Dominations, even though I feel I’ve got a lot to say about them, and I never got down to doing notices for Mijmeringen and Capriolen, nor for that JMS book I read, but which was forgettable enough, nor that O’Reilly book on web services that is so bad it’s funny — lots of companies like Sonic Software give it away as a freebie. I read part II and III of the Belisarius series, and a few others from the Baen free library, but didn’t do notes.

Irina and I read four books to our children this year: De Zevensprong, De brief voor de Koning, Meester van de Zwarte Molen and Superdetective Blomquist leeft gevaarlijk. And Irina is now reading Man en Muis by Paul Biegel, which is very, very good.

I read one book of poetry, but also the regularly appearing issues of Het Trage Vuur, a journal of translated Chinese literature that features poetry, and I read a lot of the psalms. And I discovered that Kipling is not for me.

I read one book in French (although I restarted Madame Bovary, but I didn’t finish it), read twenty-eight books in Dutch (including the books we read to the children) and about a hundred or so books in English. I didn’t get round to reading much in Greek, even though I studied Greek from February to June. Didn’t bother to review the two Teleac courses in Greek, though. (Oriste sucks and is way too short, and the other one, with twelve chapters, the title has escaped me, is excellent.) Quite a few, at a rough count about twenty, of the English books were e-books, retrieved from Gutenberg or Baen’s free library. Many of the paper books I acquired second-hand, but it was a good book-buying year in general. At an even rougher estimate, I bought about three hundred books… And again, I must admit to a reading/buying deficit.

I did watch three or four movies: The Two Towers, Matilda, Remains of the Day and Harry Potter II. Remains of the Day was easily the best of those four. Oh, and I saw two episodes from the Hamelen television series and a few Charlie Chaplins.

It was a busy year. The company I work for went broke and was rebooted, I tried to teach myself Zope, but find that, in the end, I would have preferred to create Fading Memories as a simple CGI script so all notices are simple, separate files — and maybe I’ll change to pyblosxom, or something like that after all.

Within the space of this year, I read and re-read two Connie Willis books (Bellwether and To Say Nothing of the Dog), read quite a bit of Wodehouse (my favourite author, it seems, with nineteen books read), much of it re-reading, started again with Havank after a long absence, and with van Gulik. Bomans was a relatively new arrival in my life, and Sarah Waters a new discovery: two books, both new, both immediately re-read. I read books by 87 authors.

And I wrote about seventy thousand words of my new novel, and that’s just not enough. Combined with attempts at hacking Krita, studying theology, earning bread and honey for the family, I have decided I need some refocussing to do. Updates and notices will from now on only appear when I really feel like it. C’est fini, for now. Nu is ‘t liedje uit.